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Digest

U.S. 19 lights to be repaired over 45 days

By TIMES WIRES
Published February 28, 2007


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PORT RICHEY

Nearly 215 malfunctioning streetlights on U.S. 19 will be repaired starting Thursday. The fix isn't cheap: The state Department of Transportation plans to spend about $99,000, said spokeswoman Kris Carson. The repairs should take about 45 days. The lights, located between the Pasco-Pinellas county line and State Road 52, went out late last year after components that were supposed to be waterproof allowed water to seep in and blow the circuit breakers, DOT said. The one-year warranty on the parts had expired before the problems became apparent. Clearwater-based American Lighting, which has not had any prior involvement with the streetlights, will do the repairs, Carson said.

COUNTYWIDE

Distractions don't derail FCAT testing

Emergencies interrupted FCAT sessions at one Pasco County school on Tuesday and nearly upended testing at another. Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills wound up postponing its final math testing session until today after smoke in a classroom caused everyone to evacuate. "It went off at 9:35, which happened to be the exact ending time for session one for all three grades," principal Jackson Johnson said. There was just too much confusion for session two to begin. Anclote Elementary in New Port Richey went into "a modified lockdown," Anclote principal Carole Baird said, because of a domestic dispute in the neighborhood. It was "early enough where we were able to proceed with our FCAT testing," she said. "Everyone took it in stride." The test continues through the end of the week.

HOLIDAY

State opens office for elder care

Today state officials will open their first office in Pasco County devoted to helping senior citizens who are considering moving to nursing homes. The office, located at 2435 U.S. 19, will house staff members who work for the state Department of Elder Affairs' CARES program, a federally mandated screening process for nursing home applicants (and unrelated to the Pasco-based CARES senior centers). The goal of the program is to help seniors find alternatives to nursing homes, such as assisted living facilities or specialized home services. The state CARES program can be reached at (850) 414-2000.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Organizers cancel 'Battle of Bands'

The "Battle of the Bands" scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday at Des Little Stadium at Gulf High School has been canceled. "We didn't have enough bands to sign up," said Amy Riddle, the school choir director who helped organize the event.

[Last modified February 28, 2007, 00:34:38]


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